By Ben Rand
We’re proud to celebrate Insyte Consulting’s 35th birthday this year! Insyte began life in 1982 as the Western New York Technology Development Center (WNYTDC), the brainchild of Art Moog, one of the founders of Moog Inc., Steve Sample, the then-new president of the University at Buffalo (UB), and Bill Donohue of the Erie County Industrial Development Authority. Back in those days, Ronald Reagan was a first-term president and Kay Stephenson was still coaching the Buffalo Bills. MTV was only a year old and its top videos included “I Love Rock ’N Roll” by Joan Jett and “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash. “Hill Street Blues” won the Emmy for TV Drama and “E.T. The Extra-terrestrial,” “Ghandi” and “Tootsie” were the hit movies. In the business world, Philips Electronics was producing the first compact discs while Motorola was testing a “mobile phone.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average had just soared above 1,000 while the prime rate had plummeted to 11% from its all-time high of 21.5%. In other words, it was a LONG time ago.
Insyte has been busy over these past 35 years working with WNY manufacturers and startups to help them survive and thrive in our area. Back in the 1980s, we ran several business incubators in conjunction with UB. Now we run the WNY Venture Association and the Buffalo Angels while working closely with 43North. In the interim, we helped create the WNY Business Development Fund and one of our portfolio companies, Athenex, just went public this year with its stock trading on the NASDAQ. We believe the startups of today will be the foundation of WNY’s future economy.
Insyte is also working hard to support our current economic base. We may be best known for our work with small to midsized manufacturers in WNY. Manufacturing is still the backbone of our region, providing more than 60,000 jobs in WNY and contributing $8.4 trillion in gross domestic product in Buffalo-Niagara. Since 2000, Insyte’s work with small to midsized manufacturers has resulted in more than $2.4 billion in benefits, including almost 12,000 jobs created or saved, according to independent surveys of our clients by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Insyte is one of four partners that formed Buffalo Manufacturing Works to provide world-class technology expertise to WNY manufacturers. We’re also actively supporting the new Workforce Training Center being established at Northland, and WNY’s Dream It! Do It! Initiative to help address manufacturers workforce needs into the future.
We’re proud to celebrate Insyte’s birthday and to look back at what the organization has accomplished, but we’re even more excited about what’s to come. WNY is in the midst of a renaissance and the future looks bright for WNY manufacturers and entrepreneurs.